Interview: R. Ramamurthy, president, CODISSIA

‘New industrial parks will spur development’

Print edition : March 27, 2020

CODISSIA president R. Ramamurthy. Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

Coimbatore is poised to become an industrial megapolis like Chennai and Bengaluru, according to Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA) president R. Ramamurthy. In an interview, he spoke about the priorities of the crucial industry body, which is now in its golden jubilee year. CODISSIA was started in 1969 with 40 members. Today, it has over 6,000 members. Its aim is to cater to micro and small-scale industries and nurture entrepreneurs.

What new plans does CODISSIA have?

Apart from the industrial, technical and agricultural fairs and exhibitions we organise every year, this year we have introduced two new fairs. One is the “Raw Material Fair”, which no one has done although it is the primary requirement for industry.

The second is an educational fair. We brought in a wide variety of educational institutions and aspirants who want to look at the choices in front of them and select a course or an institution. Education is very important for industry too because educational institutions can provide the skills needed for industry.

CODISSIA has also been awarded the Defence Innovation and Atal Incubation Centre by the Ministry of Defence. This idea was mooted by us three years ago. The Defence Production Secretary had come here to assess the possibility and then decided to award the centre to us.

For MSMEs [micro, small and medium enterprises], entering defence production is very difficult. CODISSIA has done this breakthrough for MSMEs. It is also for the first time in India that an incubation centre is being given to an MSME association.

CODISSIA was planning a few industrial parks.

We have also come up with two industrial parks, both state-of-the-art. This is the first time in India that a small industry body is taking up such a mega project, spread over 350 acres. Almost all the approvals are ready. By the middle of this year, I am sure we can see some industries flourishing. In a maximum of two years, our whole industrial park will be full. This will help propel Coimbatore’s economic development even further because by seeing this cluster of small and micro industries, many large companies will come to Coimbatore.

How do you tackle problems facing small and micro industries?

We represent to governments on issues of policy and other such problems, and governments have been prompt in taking action. We are on the MSME board. For any policy decision in GST [goods and services tax] we talk to both the Government of India and the Tamil Nadu government.

There was a proposal to change the Act governing small industries. For that too, CODISSIA was represented in the Standing Committee in Parliament. Regarding any policy decision, we are definitely there to put forth our views.

Our aim is to take micro and small industries to the next level in sophistication and growth. We understand the problems of these industries. When we give a representation, we also suggest what the possible solutions could be. This is how we work.

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